Semester in Biological Discovery (SBD) accepts applications from students from any accredited college or university. The total cost for 2023 is $34,780 including tuition ($25,600), fees for text books and lab expenses ($900), and housing and meals ($8,280). There are two mechanisms for receiving credit for SBD courses:

  1. Students may receive credit directly through their institution. Please contact SBD@mbl.edu for more information regarding institutional credit approval.
  2. Students may receive credit from the University of Chicago. After acceptance into the program, students will fill out an application to matriculate at the University of Chicago as a student-at-large. The student will then be registered at the university for the semester and receive grades and transcript from the university.  Students should confirm that the registrar at their home institution will accept the University of Chicago courses as transfer credit.

Update: We are extending the application deadline for the Semester in Biological Discovery program to December 15, 2023. We encourage applicants to complete their package as soon as possible to ensure a spot in their preferred courses as spots are limited.

If you have any additional questions about the Semester in Biological Discovery Program or any difficulty with the online application, please contact the SBD Administrator at SBD@mbl.edu.

The complete application should include:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • An official transcript
  • Completed application and uploaded information forms

Official transcripts may be uploaded or sent electronically from your college or university to SBD@mbl.edu or by mail to

Semester in Biological Discovery
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA
02543-1015